Another week and another chance to try out a different parkrun.
Having had a chat on Instagram with a few others, I decided to car share with a friend and head over to Northampton to try out the course. We arrived earlier than expected meaning that we found parking really easy down a side street and took the 5-10 minute walk. Had enough time to pop to the ladies’ room (though this was actually the men’s, but females can use their facilities on a parkrun day!) and we were in time for the first timers briefing. Even though it’s unlikely I’ll ever be first I always try to attend the briefings so that I have an idea of what to expect on the run.
We met some other runners and it was then time to line-up for the start. General rules and regulations were read out and with a blink of an eye we were running! The route took an anti-clockwise start to the outer edge of the park. With a wide running area, it only felt slightly congested towards the start and quickly the runners spread out – there was no tripping over other runners feet. A few tree stubs to keep an eye out for along the outer edge and some minor ups and downs but nothing to worry about too much.
Going past the basket ball courts, where the first timers briefing was, and ready for the final three-quarters of a lap – I checked my watch (though can’t recall what distance we were at) and now I knew where I was going there wasn’t much longer left, and I hadn’t been overtaken, which was a boost compared to my home run where I’m usually overtaken on the second lap. Pushing up the incline, it was downhill from here until the end. Picking up the pace (or attempting to) in the last 0.2 of a mile I was hot (the sun was over half of the course – the final half!) but knew I’d be happy with my time.
Glad to be able to stop I was at the finish funnel, picked up my token – number 208. Northampton parkrun has most organised finish tunnel I’ve seen with an impressive queuing system, with ropes to lead us around. Really quick going through the scanners and I took a minute in the shade to get my breath back before watching others come through the finish.
A text a few hours later with a modest time of 27.20.
A fast, mostly flat, wide route I liked that the course didn’t lap itself a number of times. I definitely enjoy the parkrun’s more on a one-way/out-and-back route and this course wasn’t to far away from this. Even though the course covered a lap and three-quarters of the park, the length went on and on and on! The parkrun has a fantastic turnout with 571 runners and encouraging volunteers around the course.
Thank you, Northampton parkrun, for being so welcoming and to all the volunteers who gave up their Saturday mornings!